I don't see why having a liberal return policy fortells the death of an industry.
I also have to question the unsourced statistic in the video that 70% of shoppers buy based on the return policy. I sure haven't.
I also don't regularly buy gear from REI, even though I am a co-op member. I find it exceptionally rare that REI has the best price on something, and they don't do a whole lot of aggressive sales as opposed to say, Sports Authority, the Vail owned shops, Christy Sports, etc.
This probably has at least something to do with the higher overhead they have from such a return policy.
Finally, the guy in the video is a pussy. If he really wanted to make the point about their return policy, he would have taken the plastic off THEN broken the board, but he was apparently too busy pissing himself over the idea that they may not honor the return and may not give him his money back if he didn't make it look like it was damage that happened in shipping. I think MOST shops would give the guy the benefit of the doubt if he returned a broken board still in the plastic, shipping it back to the manufacturer as goods damaged in shipping. So basically, in this specific case I don't think the guy really proved anything with his video, aside from he apparently likes "sticking it to the man" by putting a single whack on a snowboard still in the plastic.
If you are going to do one of these return videos, at least do it right. I remember a youtube video showing guys on the XBOX 360 launch day (or the like, I don't remember exactly what console, and I'm sure several people have done similar things) that got a "no questions asked" warranty on an Xbox, then went out into the parking lot and sledgehammered the thing to pieces and burned the remains, then swept it all back into the box and walked back into the store to get their replacement console... In front of the line of people waiting to get theirs, several of which were beside themselves that somebody needlessly destroyed something they were desperately trying to get. It still may be being a douche, but at least it is being a douche the right way.
Edited by anachronism - 5/7/13 at 10:45pm